Life insurance forms an important aspect which should be considered by one and all. Two very basic life insurance plans available are - term life insurance and permanent life insurance plan. Term insurance refers to an insurance which is for a specific time period while a permanent life insurance plan covers your entire life period. 

You can opt for the more affordable term life insurance for a specific period or go in for the lifelong protection and cash value offered by the permanent life insurance plans. To make the choice easier for you, let us go through the significant features of the two most popular life insurance plans

Key features of term life insurance and permanent life insurance


Term Life Insurance

Permanent Life Insurance

Plan Terms 

Easy to understand

More comprehensive

Tenure coverage

Fixed tenure coverage like 10 years, 15 years etc.

Lifelong financial protection as long as the policy in force

Death Benefits

Death benefit paid to beneficiaries in the event of death of the policy holder, provided policy is still in force.

Death benefit provided to the beneficiary of the policy holder in the event of death of the holder.

Maturity Benefits

No maturity benefits.

Whole life plans come with a cash value that is provided to the nominee(s) on policy maturity. 


Affordable insurance plans whose premium changes upon renewal or advancing age.

Expensive as compared to term life insurance but pricing remains the same over the life of the policy.

Premium value

Low as compared to permanent life insurance plan but the premium increases with age. 

Higher value but premium is constant over life of the policy.


Flexible plan which can be renewed or converted but there is no cash value component.

Cannot be converted but permanent plans provide savings components whose growth depends on the length of the policy.


No surrender or loans available.

Loans can be availed on permanent life plans and it has surrender value on maturity

Points to Consider: 

Term plans are for fixed period whereas permanent plans are for the whole life period